[box type=”info”] This article is written with input from one of freelancer, we hire on regular basis. He is within top 100 from last 2 years. There are few edited points added in this post, which came from input of a freelancer from fiverr.[/box]
Freelancer is a global crowdsourcing marketplace website, which allows potential employers to post jobs that freelancers can then bid to complete (wiki). Despite, being one of latest entrant in field on aggregator (other being Fiverr), freelancer has emerged as most popular freelancing website now.
And as it happens, due to its immense popularity, more and more prospective employers are posting their requirements on freelancer. Thus chances of you finding projects, according to your skills are higher on freelancer as compared to other side. [An exception being Fiverr, but they operate on different style, as explained below].
As you can check out from link, that freelancer has huge number of users and it is not easy to find freelancing projects. This guide is to tell you how to jump start yourself on freelancer.com.
Before we go to our main part, a small intro about Fiverr too:
Though fiverr is also a online marketplace offering tasks and services. What separates it is that project (called ‘gigs’ ) have flat beginning at a cost of $5 per job (gig) performed, from which it gets its name. This provides a clear and low point of price for any project seeker.
So, for example, if you developing a blog or website for yourself and you need a logo. Then you can order one at starting price of $5 only. This saves your time to focus more of other parts of your website.
You can check out the range by clicking the image below:
Now over to main part, how to start your freelancing career in this competitive marketplace?
Create a portfolio of your past projects. Collect best of your past projects and capture screenshots which highlights your skills. This applies to web designers, writers and other similar projects.
If your skills are related to back end, then you can create an independent portfolio website and use that to highlight your skill set. Like if you are wordpress developer, then your wordpress based portfolio website (with its speed, look, overall navigation is best indicator of your skills related to wordpress). Be sure to use images, they give better feeling while prospective client is browsing your portfolio.
If you are a programmer and software developer, then you should include link to stackoverflow and github portfolio page.
For creative writing jobs or content writing jobs, you should put of sample of your content. One or two paragraphs, on 3 topics which you are good at is good idea.
*The reason for such elaborate effort upfront is, because you are new on the platform, you need to establish credibility. These website work on basis of feedback system. And you get feedback, when you have completed at least a few projects on the site. Which you get with difficulty unless your profile shows feedback from other clients. [Funny, isn’t it 😀 ]
Here’s where most of new freelancers make the mistake. Don’t be desperate to prove yourself. Bid on projects which you can deliver within given time frame and over deliver. You can choose very low amount or within lower range of budget set by client.
But in no circumstance, you should bid on projects which are outside your skill set or which require more time than you can allot. There have been cases where new freelancers bid for 10 projects at insanely low amount, get awarded and then struggle to deliver. Don’t be that guy.
It requires patience and you need to work hard. Keep bidding till you get your first project.
While bidding, freelancer.com gives you option of sending message to prospective client, use it to convey (not exactly these lines) : ” I am new to the site, and I need to prove myself here. You can check my portfolio at [link]. I can assure of of quality work. ”
Be one of the earliest bidder to projects.
Here is a point regarding what to bid on and what to avoid:
- Avoid clients from South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka etc), unless they have good reviews. For example avoid this project. Multiple freelancers have reported not so good experience with them. There may be exceptions, so if you find something low risk, you can still go for that.
- Don’t spend on more than a couple of skills tests in beginning. Let your income grow and then you can spend on these tests.
The reputation building part. This is a continuous part. So here are few guidelines:
- Always deliver ahead of deadline. And always be available to your clients till satisfied delivery of project. Once your reputation has grown and your per project income has grown, you can bid on project which give your enough free time.
- There will be times when client offers you to talk outside these platform. Avoid that, because then in case of dispute, you won’t have any support platform. This becomes more difficult when you and your client are on continent apart.
- The above mentioned point is not for case of client awarding you long term project. But unless this long term project is employment based arrangement, don’t ignore your portfolio on these platform. Even if you are busy, you can bag a project and then get it done from other freelancer too [Though this will require project management skills ].